High winds to impact Coachella music festival

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Coachella

Sunset at the 2013 edition of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

SAN DIEGO — Very strong and gusty winds are expected to develop in San Diego County’s mountains and deserts Thursday morning, weaken somewhat Friday and increase over the weekend as a trough of low pressure moves across the region.

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival will also be impacted by gusty winds and blowing dust and sand.  The popular concert’s temporary structures could be affected with 60-70mph wind gusts.

Winds of 25 to 35 miles per hour with gusts that may reach 60 mph in some locales in the forecast prompted a National Weather Service high wind warning from 5 a.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday. A less severe wind advisory will take effect immediately afterward as the winds begin to die down, and will expire at 11 a.m. Saturday.

“Sustained wind speeds of at least 40 mph or gusts of 58 mph or more can lead to property damage,” according to the weather service.

Forecasters said the winds would ramp up Thursday morning and peak in the afternoon.

The wind may be strong enough to kick up sand and dust alongside desert roadways, which could make for hazardous driving conditions on portions of Interstate 8 and state Route 78. Motorists, especially those in high profile vehicles, were urged to use extra caution.

The winds could potentially damage unsecured outdoor objects, according to the NWS.